November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. Caregivers face particular challenges as they help older loved ones with daily needs including help with paying bills, maintaining households and assisting with doctor’s appointments, medication, and transportation. According to the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability, there are one million caregivers in Tennessee, the majority women over 55 years of age caring for someone 75 years or older.
All year long, the Council on Aging (COA) of Middle Tennessee serves older adults, caregivers, and communities by addressing unmet needs through information, advocacy and education. The nonprofit organization offers several free resources to support caregivers including Aging & Caring: A Guide for Families & Caregivers©, the Directory of Services©, and customized care guidance tool, Roobrik.
“November is the start of the holiday season, a time when families are coming together more frequently – and a time when they may notice changes in their loved ones as they age,” said Grace Smith, executive director. “As families begin to discuss caregiving needs, we want them to be aware of available resources. Our Directory of Services (print and online) is the only comprehensive guide for older adults and caregivers, listing services and community resources throughout Middle Tennessee. Our Aging & Caring guide helps families navigate the caregiving journey, providing a framework for understanding the myriad issues they may face including healthcare, financial and legal considerations, housing, emotional health, and more. For those who aren’t sure where to start, our online Roobrik tool provides personalized guidance to help families determine the most appropriate care options.”
Aging & Caring: A Guide for Families and Caregivers provides the framework for helping caregivers understand a variety of issues while planning for and with an older adult.
Caregivers can include spouses, adult children, family members, neighbors, and friends.
The Directory of Services is a one-stop impartial resource for older adults, caregivers, and professionals in the Middle Tennessee area. As a nonprofit agency that is a not direct service provider, COA is in the unique position to provide complete and impartial information on the services for seniors and caregivers in the 13-county Middle Tennessee area. COA’s resources may be found online at coamidtn.org.